Sunday, 15 May 2016

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Uber

I started using Uber only last month. It was a 2km drive from Bandar Baru Ampang to the Ampang LRT station, and the driver was called Adrianne.

Since that day, I had started using Uber almost everyday to work until early last week when Uber fares went up 2.4 times! Before the fare hike, Uber rates were more economical compared to taking the taxi. Now it's even more expensive!

Anyways, here are advantages and disadvantages of using Uber, based on my experience:


Driver looks for the passenger - The Uber driver comes looking for the passenger, which is convenient especially in locations with hardly any taxis. In the case of taxis, the passenger has to look for the taxi and this is inconvenient especially in locations where there're hardly any around.

Convenient payment method - Payment for the fare is billed straight to my credit card which saves me the hassle of having to look for small change. It's convenient and I like it.

Uber has announced last month that they have started accepting cash payment. By introducing more flexible payment methods more passenges are able to use Uber especially those who don't have a credit card.


Unfamiliar routes - Most Uber drivers I've rode with use Waze to navigate their way. They're unfamiliar with the route because they're not full time drivers. The problem arises when Waze sometimes lead us through a longer route which not only causes the fare to go up, but is a bloody waste of time especially when I'm late for an appointment. If I'm familiar with a particular route, I'll usually give the directions so that the driver don't need to use Waze.

Most taxi drivers don't use Waze because they know the roads like the back of their hand, including back lanes, fastest route to get to a destination, how to avoid routes with heavy traffic, etc. This is an advantage compared to Uber drivers. In fact, I've learned many shortcuts, 'jalan tikus', etc. from taxi drivers.

Availability of taxis (in certain locations) - In locations where there're many taxis, using taxis may be the better option, because waiting for the Uber driver may take up to 10 minutes especially during peak hours. You may think that 10 minutes is not long, but it is, especially in the morning when I need to get to the office before 8.45am.

Unable to detect my location - Despite numerous times I've used Uber to travel from my condo to the office, Uber still can't detect my exact location, i.e. the name of my condo cannot be found in Uber. And I'm not talking about some condo in a forsaken place - my condo is in a prime location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. So each time a driver is assigned to me, either one of us will have to call or text the other party to confirm my exact location. Calls and text messages = costs, no?

No insurance coverage - Passengers are unable to make an insurance claim if they get involved in an accident while on a Uber ride. Didn't know about this until a colleague pointed it out. But personally, not having insurance coverage does not bother me much.

Having listed down the advantages and disadvantages of using Uber, I'm still using taxis after the Uber price hike last week.

Will I go back to using Uber? Answer: Only if the fare is more economical compared to taxis, because at the end of the day, I will select the option that gives me the most savings.

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